Today’s Scrip-Bit   10 January 2022 Deuteronomy 30:19b.

Deuteronomy 30:19b.      I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

Monday has come down again friends, that means the weekend is over! And let me tell you a li’l ‘secrat’ as my young daughter would say in her early years. Monday is going to keep coming down every week or eight days, however you choose to count it. (smile) It is going to keep coming after every Sunday, for all the days of our lives, so we might as well get used to it and properly prepare for it by worshipping with other believers on Sundays, and thus renewing our faith in Christ, the One who strengthens us to do His will.

And though it’s the beginning of the work week, many of us won’t be going to work because of the tighter lockdown caused by the quick spreading of the latest Covid-19 variant, Omicron. Ah mih people, when is this pandemic going to end eh? Only the Lord alone knows yes! For every time we seem to be making some headway, a new variant suddenly pops up its ugly head and triggers more problems again.

It’s not only causing sickness and death but religious, economic and political discomfort with loss of jobs, bankruptcy and violent protests in the streets and churches. That’s due to the large pockets of doubt that exist in the society, as to whether the virus is real, and if the vaccine and other supposed protections are truly useful in reducing the virus’ power and rapid spread.

Unfortunately though, that substantial disagreement has led to a lot of unnecessary rancour, resentment and retaliation which only enables the virus to spread more quickly. And unless we soon come to some general agreement on the entire situation, this predicament will be with us for a while yet, leaving our society in a state of perpetual uncertainty and distrust, as sickness, death, religious, political and economic unrest covers our land.

That recalls the immortal words that Moses said to the children of Israel before he died. ‘I call heaven and earth to record (as witnesses to) this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.’ (Deut. 30:19)

Yes friends, it’s a simple choice, for there are only two options, blessing and life, or cursing and death, but we have to make the decision. And it seems like we have chosen cursing and death with all the disaster and calamity that’s been recently shaking our world. Now, we all like to quote that verse above, but we neglect to ruminate on what comes before and after it.

Before it, come these prophetic words. ‘See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to LOVE the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgements, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.’ (Deut. 30:15-18)

Yuh see my people, the blessings of Israel were dependent on them acknowledging the sovereignty of the Lord and obeying His will. And whenever they strayed from it, as they did several times, much disaster and calamity befell them. And there’s no doubt that in our current society we have strayed far from the Lord God Almighty, disobeying His commandments, turning to idols, even saying that there is no God, while trying to remove Him from our midst.

As I heard one preacher say recently, that atheists spend all their lives trying to remove or dispel a God they don’t believe in. And that’s the gospel truth! Why do atheists work so hard to convince us that there’s no God eh? If there’s none, then they should just leave the whole matter alone and we’ll find out for ourselves. Anyway, let’s see what comes after that seminal verse of Moses’ teaching.

The Good Book follows it with: ‘That thou mayest LOVE the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.’ (Deut. 30:20)

Oh my fellow saints in Christ, right there is our reason for living: to LOVE the Lord our God, to obey His voice and cleave unto Him, because He is our life and our length of days! We all know that without Him we have no life, for it’s His breath of life that makes us alive, not anything that we ourselves do. And He also causes us to live however long we do. He controls our lifespan.

So why are we so foolishly anti-God eh, when He controls all that we ever were, all that we are, and will ever be? It’s not wisdom my brethren? And what’s wisdom, you ask? Wisdom is to turn to Him sincerely, seek His face and His righteousness, His mercy and forgiveness so that we and our descendants shall live eternally. That’s true wisdom!

And in accordance with that, we have but one choice in these trying times, that’s to turn to God in prayer for help. Let’s do that through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn nuh. Altogether now: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now please remember what Moses said: to receive God’s blessings we need to keep His commandments, to keep our promises to do His will. Much LOVE!

…for blessings to triumph…there must first be unity in God…disunited, ungodly people cannot prosper…

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 2 April 2020 Deuteronomy 30:19.

Deuteronomy 30:19.    I call heaven and earth to record this day (stand as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
 
Oh friends, oh friends, before beginning to write the Bit this Thursday morning in these very concerned Covod-19 times, I needed a touch of divine inspiration and so I turned to some praise and worship, music that truly moves me, Psalm 34 sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. And as always, it certainly did the job! There’s something about that version of that song that just gets me going! Thus, I invite you now to bless the Lord with me! Let’s magnify His name together! Let’s  exalt it together! 

There’s no better form of praise than to glorify His most holy name for ever and ever! For He surrounds His saints with divine protection and no one who calls on Him in sincerity and truth will ever be ashamed. He will hear their pleas and protect them from their enemies! Wow! What other faith can say that about their God eh? NONE! That’s why it’s ever so important to stay true to the God of our forefathers if we want to be delivered from the enemy and receive redemption and forgiveness and eventual salvation. 

But I know that’s not easy to do, even in normal times, much less in these very trying and uncertain ones. And the only way to do it is by keeping hope and faith alive through prayer and meditation and strong action. That’s why today I was guided to share a couple of passages from the Hour Of Power Devotional with writings by our dear, departed Gramps Schuller (Dr. Robert H. Schuller). Long time we haven’t turned to him for some wise advice, (smile)  but he does give some that’s very pertinent to our faith in these Covid-19 times. 

So please read with me, this first devotional he so wisely titles ‘Choose Hope.’ ‘Yes, I believe God is still alive. He knows where I am and how I got here. He’s way ahead of me, manoeuvring in the silence and the shadows. He really cares. I trust Him. The alternative is an unthinkable, unacceptable mental attitude that’s certain to lead me down a path of hopeless despair. Yes I am addicted to hope. That’s my decision. My hopes may not be completely fulfilled, but at least they’re keeping me alive and alert and pragmatic. 

Hope promises to generate and sustain life (and then does). Despair promises to generate and deliver depression and death (and then does). I’d rather choose HOPE (an emotional reaction that promises life but can’t guarantee that all of its promises will be fulfilled) than choose despair (an emotional reaction that guarantees that its promises of failure and death will surely be kept).’ 

Oh my people, all of that is oh so true and wise! Hope might not be able to guarantee everything it says, but at least it gives you a fighting chance. Despair and hopelessness on the other hand, does guarantee and provide death and failure. So as the Good Book says, ‘I call heaven and earth to record this day (stand as witnesses) against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may life.’  

Precious people of God, that’s wisdom from heaven itself, straight from the mouth of our great God and Creator! And He offers that wise advice because He knows what’s best for us. So please, I implore us to take that divine advice and choose life and not death in these scary times; a life that is only provided through hope, faith, trust and true surrender to Almighty God! And to help us do that, here’s the second passage from Gramps Schuller’s Hour of Power Devotional: ‘A Prayer for Hope.’ 

So please pray with me: ‘I have a strong, serene feeling that God is planning something good for me today. I cannot explain it, but I have a deep feeling that wonderful things are in store for me. I am expecting God to surprise me with His tender mercy. He will turn my hurts into halos. He is guiding my life in such a way that whatever happens to me will prove to be a beautiful blessing. Thank You Lord. Amen!’  

And I do hope that as we prayed that prayer a new and higher layer and level of hope, faith and trust rose up in us. Yes friends, we do need abundant and divine hope in these rough times. And the only way to get it is to believe that God is truly for us and will do all that He’s promised, and will work everything out for our good eventually. 

That’s why Sister Joyce (Joyce Meyer) likes to say: ‘Something good is going to happen to me today. And something good is going to happen through me today!’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! Remember, there is awesome power in the Word of God my people, for with it He created the world and all therein. So let’s use it to our advantage nuh. That’s why He gave it to us…to use – day and night! 

And who says good things aren’t happening to us today, right now eh? Lots of wonderful things are happening; we’re being showered with our Thursday Blessings! So let’s declare (yeahh!) them in strong voice and sincere hearts nuh, as we lift up our great and wonderful God, who’s provided us with such awesome blessings. 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Wowee, Wowee! How can we not LOVE and worship and reverence such an amazing and faithful God eh! But one word of reminder; those blessings are not to be selfishly hoarded, but to be generously shared with the less fortunate, just as the Lord generously shared them with us! Much LOVE!

…addiction to HOPE…is what we need right now…